Past, present, and future — the Little Shop of Horrors’ Quintet knows it all.
Also known as the “feisty five”, this group serves as the show’s narrators or “Greek chorus”. The Quintet is comprised of Nancy Duer as Chiffon, Jasmine Joseph as Ronnette, Kendall Caron-Quinn as Sheila, Jenifer Bonilla as Crystal and Norelisa Nascimento as Donna.
“The Quintet are the only ones who know what’s going to happen in the future, and what’s happened in the past. We’re guiding the story along and act as the storytellers,” Duer explained. “There’s this energy with the audience that we know something you all don’t,” she added.
The Little Shop of Horrors actresses are a crucial addition to the show’s storyline. “We’re main characters, but also standing in the background in a lot of scenes. We’re helping to both tell the story while we’re in the story itself,” explained Caron-Quinn.
The group works as a team to build harmonies, emphasize the show’s main points and reinforce the plot. “It requires a lot of energy — but a lot of that energy is spent enjoying rehearsals, laughing, smiling, having fun, but also getting work done,” Caron-Quinn said. “A lot of people think this ‘theatre thing’ is easy, but it is like playing a sport — it requires movement, endurance, long hours, and we do it all as a team,” Duer added.
While the Quintet is one group, each character within has its own attitude and persona that they are all looking forward to putting their personal touch on. “This is my last musical, and even though we all work together to be this one spirit, we also have an individualized personality for each of our characters. I’m so excited to see how we all bring them to life,” Nascimento explained.
The quintet unanimously agreed, the friendships are what make GFA theatre such an incredible experience. “I love what happens on stage, but most of what happens is off stage. When we are all hanging around together, waiting for our next cue or practicing, going over dance steps, that type of support… there’s no replacing that.” Nascimento explained.
While rehearsals take much of the group’s time and energy, the group looks forward to it daily. “I’m excited to come to rehearsal every day because I know I’m going to be surrounded by people who feel like family — people who I care about. We get to dance and express ourselves and let go of what happened in the day, just be ourselves and embrace it!” Duer said.
“That goes for the entire cast,” Joseph added. “There’s not a single day I come to rehearsal, and I’m not cracking up. We laugh all the time.”
Bonilla agreed, “I now talk to freshman and connect with seniors, it’s interesting how working toward a cohesive goal creates these unbreakable friendships. When it comes down to the opening night, we’re all tired, sometimes emotional, but, together, we manage.”
On show night, the Quintet explains there’s an “undeniable energy” in the air. While the cast is running around, doing quick changes and scrambling, everyone has a smile on their face. Their excitement for Little Shop of Horrors is clear. “The music is great, it’s funny, it’s entertaining, it’s an all-out amazing experience, not only to be a part of, but also to watch,” said Carol-Quinn.
“Plants, love, tension, drama, what else could you want?” Bonilla added.
Little Shop of Horrors will be running Nov. 21–23 in the Hartwell Performing Arts Center Theatre. Tickets are available for purchase here.
The musical Little Shop of Horrors begins with a meek flower shop assistant, Seymour, pining for his co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant, which he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store. Then the real fun begins!